Extracurricular activities


Within English boarding schools, the main sports are split up on a termly basis. In general, pupils participate in two to three "main sports" which alternate by term. For boys, the winter term is designated as the football/rugby term, the spring term for rugby/hockey, and the summer term for cricket/tennis/athletics. Of those, football, rugby and cricket are the most popular. Should you be in a high-performing team, training and matches may occur across multiple terms or even year round. The level of seriousness is largely dependent on the school: there being significant variation between schools. Nevertheless, should a pupil be in the first team for a "main" sport, they should expect to train almost everyday including gym sessions. For girls the main sports are hockey/lacrosse (though hockey is more popular) for winter term, netball for spring and tennis for summer. Of course, there are other smaller sports which almost all schools have such as swimming, badminton and basketball with some schools - e.g. Winchester and Eton - playing unique games such as fives or rackets. 


Music is an integral element of all English boarding schools' extracurriculars. There is a wide array of instruments to be played, irrespective of skill, from the piano to the harp to the organ to the recorder. Music lessons will be one on one, taking place outside of lesson time largely once a week with the pupils expected to find time within their schedule to practice. Unfortunately, the lessons are not included in the annual school fees, with lessons generally being around £30 for 30-40 minutes. Music scholars generally have multiple music lessons a week though may have to pay a reduced cost for the lessons depending on the school. Should a pupil view music as a critical part of their academic career, it's recommended they attend a more academic school that places a higher value on music. Those schools that place an emphasis on sporting proficiency may not provide an encouraging environment for budding musicians.


All English boarding schools have a drama programme. In general, drama is split into two sections: house and school. House based productions are perhaps less formal, with those taking part not necessarily aspiring actors. These are seen to be fun, team-building activities that help bring people together. Although there may be auditions, normally within house-based plays everyone gets a part should they want it. School productions are aimed for those that take drama more seriously. They are generally the higher-quality productions which the school can join together to admire. Either way, should a pupil be even slightly interested in drama, there will be something for them to take part in.

Academic extracurriculars

Clubs, what the English term as 'societies' are present within all boarding schools. These can encompass a range of topics, some academic, others less so. Should a society not exist on a particular topic, students are encouraged to create one themselves. The range of topics is extensive, from groups training for math olympiads to people joining together to watch and critique French films. These groups are run outside lesson times with anyone welcome to join.


While not as popular as the others, pupils are encouraged to draw and create in their free time should they enjoy it. All boarding schools have art school and exhibitions are frequently held where pupils and parents alike are urged to admire students' latest pieces.